So we again got up super early to go to Salzburg by train, but this time it was only a couple hours. Most of the train ride, however, was a blur of frustration because we had to start on a presentation about an Austrian journalist and a couple of her articles. They were really hard to understand at first, because her writing style was almost stream of consciousness. Luckily one of our teachers was willing to help us out and so it went a bit better towards the end. I think we got there around noonish and went to our hotel (yes, this was a hotel, not a hostel!) I can’t tell you how awesome it was to have a bathroom in the actual room!

Anyway, after that we walked around the city. Salzburg is a pretty small place, maybe about the size of Auburn, only more compact. We walked through the Mirabell gardens and went to a fountain (which we are going to say was in the Sound of Music, even though no one was 100% sure of this at the time). We walked over a bridge into the heart of Salzburg and saw Mozart’s birth place (which we later went in and explored.) We saw yet another awesome church (typical of Europe as you might have guessed) as well as many more fountains. We also saw several more street performers and vendors, and one of my favorite things out on the street, a giant chess set with people actually playing.

After that we took a trolley up to the Hohensalzburg Castle on the hill and took a tour. It was a pretty big place and there was a museum inside with a lot of interesting objects. But the reason why there was a fortress in Salzburg was because it used to be a very wealthy place. As the name suggests (Salz=salt) they used to mine salt in the town. And during the middle ages, since there were no refrigerators or freezers, salt was the best way to preserve food, so it was very important. So they built the fortress, which later became a castle, to protect the town. Oh, and there is an amazing view up there.

But it was not all awesome up there. Normally I would spin an epic yarn of how I bravely fought through fire or guns in order to rescue children or puppies from said assailants and somehow I was injured while carrying out this brave act. But no, I’ll be truthful this time. I’m a klutz, that’s all there is to this one. I was going down the stairs and I got to the very last one, and my ankle gave out (almost at a 90 degree angle) and I went down, landing on my other knee. It did not hurt at the time, but I knew it was going to hurt later. Still, on the way down, all I could think was, “shit I’m about to break my ankle. It’s really going to be hard to climb that mountain tomorrow in crutches!” It wasn’t broken, so that was good. But I did spend the rest of the trip gimping around while several people offered me piggy back rides (which for those of you who did, thank you! It really meant a lot how concerned everyone was!!)

After that we also climbed the tallest tower in the fortress and got to see a nice view of the city. Then we headed down and toured Mozart’s birth house and ate dinner. Then Becca and I decided to walk around Salzburg instead of going back to the hotel with everyone else. We found this nice little park by the river and it had several really neat things like an outdoor workout area as well as miniature golf. We sat at a bench for awhile and fed the duckers (which I’m not quite sure why my brain kept calling them duckers instead of ducks… I’m going to go with I was delusional with pain by that time) but my ankle was really starting to hurt, so we decided to head back. When we got back everyone was drinking and having a good time. I joined them for awhile, but didn’t drink anything so I went to bed kind of early.

The next day a handful of us got up early and took a trip to Hellbrunn, which is a castle famous for its fountains on the outskirts of the city. After venturing around Salzburg because we did not look at the bus route correctly and got off at the wrong place (and we had to walk to our connecting bus) we finally got there. It was a pretty place, and the fountains were really cool. What was not as cool was our tour guides determination to spray everyone with the trick fountains, but we all mostly avoided getting wet. We walked around the gardens for awhile after that, and found a replica of the Gazebo from the Sound of Music, and so we took fun pictures there and Scott gave everyone a riveting reprise of 16 (23) going on 17 (24). After that about half of the group went to the zoo while the other half went ahead on to the mountains. We stopped and ate lunch at the little imbiss at the base of the mountain and ended up heading up the mountain via cable car an hour later than planned.

Let me tell you, I was not going to be left behind due to my gimpy ankle (there was a 20 minute climb to the very top after the cable car, and it was a bit rocky). And of course, after I finally made it to the top, we all took pictures and sang, “The hills are aliiiiiiiive, with the sound of muuuuuuusic.” It took forever for me to climb back down, but Becca, Scott, and Grace stayed with me and our teacher waited for us at the bottom of the cable car. I also really appreciate that, even though I made us late for the Stiegl brewery (sorry guys). We got to try some more samples, and I ate a salad with fried cheese and cranberry dressing. When we went back to the hotel, almost everyone was pooped, but I had decided that I was going to celebrate my birthday early (because we had a busy week ahead of us anyway) and so about half of the group went out to a bar. We actually started out in downtown Salzburg, but we did not really find a good place to go, so we ended up at a bar down the street from out hotel.

It was really fun! I drank a good bit, but not too much. I did a bit of white girl dancing with Grace. We got some really naughty stickers from the bar tender. Trevor ended up giving Scott a piggy back ride, and Grace gave me one as well (which is kind of opposite of what you would think because Scott and I are much bigger than Grace and Trevor, but Grace assured me it would be fine, she does roller derby.) We also learned that Trevor has no sense of stranger danger when we went to another nearby bar and everyone in there looked like they came from a bad 70s stoner movie and were glaring at us. Becca “found” us some really pretty flowers, because she and mother nature are so close. I couldn’t unlock the door to our room. It was epic.

The next day, while about half of our group was on the Sound of Music tour, we decided to venture out on our own and see what we could do. First we went to the State Rooms, which was interesting. There was again, a lot of beautiful architecture. We also went to a famous cafe, and everyone ate lunch there (except for me because I did not feel very well). After that we got some ice cream and then went on a boat tour (which was the hottest boat in the world). It was relaxing. Afterward almost everyone went to another brewery, but I was feeling a bit antisocial at this point so I sort of just walked around until time to meet up at the train station. The ride back was mostly uneventful. Everyone in my car fell asleep at one point. I did some more reading and got really frustrated again, but I got it all read, so it was all okay in the end. Overall, it was a good trip and I feel like I saw everything I wanted in Salzburg.


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